Indian Election Metaverse Sees 25K Users in 500 Rooms at Launch

Indian Election Metaverse Sees 25K Users in 500 Rooms at Launch

Indian media group ABP Network’s newly launched Election Centre Metaverse recorded more than 25,000 users worldwide in around 500 so-called “parallel rooms” once counting of votes began and results started trickling in, the company announced.

India, the world’s most populous country with more than 1.4 billion people, held several elections this year, most recently the state legislative assembly elections that took place from Nov. 7 to Nov. 30. Results started coming in early December.

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People cast votes in metaverse

According to ABP Network, some 100,000 interactions with Live TV, video on demand, and short videos were observed following the launch. Users visited election scenes, took part in live stream views, played games, and posted selfies, it adds.

CEO Avinash Pandey said that the venture into the metaverse for election coverage is a milestone for the network, demonstrating how this technology could change news consumption and public engagement.

“This is a key milestone in our journey to integrate AI Tech to make our coverage stand out in the news industry,” he said, as reported by Indian Television.

Some social media users appeared to praise the initiative, with one person on X, formerly Twitter, describing it as a “one-stop solution for all [India] election 2023 results, related stats, news, and analysis.”

Indian Election Metaverse Sees 25K Users in 500 Rooms at Launch
Screenshot of Election Metaverse voting booth. Image credits: MetaNews/ABP Network

A lonely experience in ABP’s virtual world

MetaNews visited the ABP election centre metaverse. It was a very straightforward affair: login with your preferred username, choose an avatar from a limited list of just three options, and you’re set.

Once you enter the virtual space, there are a variety of activities you can undertake, like verifying your voter registration documents. You can even cast your vote virtually (though we did not do so).

Indian Election Metaverse Sees 25K Users in 500 Rooms at Launch
Image credits: MetaNews/ABP Network

Huge portraits of key candidates stare out from one corner of the virtual room. Clicking the “Know More” button below the picture unlocks a short biography, instantly revealing their story—something that could help users make decisions quicker.

There are giant screens with a live news feed, and users can be re-directed to more breaking news on ABP’s YouTube channel when they press the “Election Breaking” button on the wall.

Indian Election Metaverse Sees 25K Users in 500 Rooms at Launch
Image credits. MetaNews/ABP Network

We took a selfie, but all we got was a generic image with six avatars we don’t even know about. The network quickly asked us to tweet the image of strangers. We didn’t oblige. Those that did shared a selfie that looks exactly like our own, as you can see in this tweet and this one too.

While somewhat educational and informative, the election centre metaverse was a lonely experience for us. We didn’t meet anyone there. Occasionally, you could hear a voice shouting something in a native Indian language, but that did not help matters. We just don’t understand Hindi.

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.